02 Mar 2016 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 02 MAR (NAMPA) - The Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) has urged students to enquire about the accreditation status of tertiary institutions before enrolling.
We get regular complaints from students that their qualifications are not recognised upon completion of their studies, but our advice has always been that people must first check with us before they enrol, said NQAs Head of Accreditation, Assessment and Audit Polli Andima.
He told Nampa on Tuesday that the accreditation of an institution and that of a programme from a particular institution are not similar.
Andima indicated that accreditation ensures the credibility of the programmes of such institutions.
We do two things in one - when we give an institution a certificate of accreditation we also give a scope of the programmes that are accredited, so institutions are also required to tell us which programmes they want us to accredit, he said.
The NQA is busy making recommendations for amendments to the NQA Act which will be given to the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Itah Kandjii-Murangi to be submitted to Parliament later this year.
Accreditation is currently guaranteed for three years, and part of the amendments to be proposed are that accreditation should be valid for at least five years.
Another recommendation will be that the NQA be given the mandate to enforce the accreditation of tertiary institutions before students are enrolled.
I am sure that if such amendments are passed a lot of things will change. For instance, accreditation will be compulsory and that will address the issue of institutions operating without accreditation, Andima said.
Forty-one tertiary institutions and vocational training centres are currently registered with the NQA.
The NQA is a State-owned Enterprise established under NQA Act No 29 of 1996.
The organisation is responsible for ensuring that qualifications obtained domestically or internationally are authentic and meet certain standards.